U.S. Marine Corps
1945: The Battle of Iwo Jima comes to an end. The month-long battle, which included some of the fiercest and bloodiest fighting of World War II, left American forces in control of the entire island, including its three airfields, providing a staging area for attacks on the Japanese main islands. The battle was immortalized by Joe Rosenthal's photograph of the raising of the U.S. flag on top of Mount Suribachi by five U.S. Marines and one U.S. Navy battlefield Hospital Corpsman. The photograph records the second flag-raising on the mountain, both of which took place on the fifth day of the 35-day battle.